‘MSME Prerna’: A unique initiative to ensure the recovery and rehabilitation of Indian MSMEs

In a first-of-its-kind initiative by a bank of any country, India’s Finance Minister launches ‘MSME Prerna’ an online business mentoring programme for MSMEs.

October 6, 2020

MSMEs form the backbone of the Indian economy, contributing 30% to the GDP and 28% to employment.

MSMEs provide jobs and livelihoods to over 100 million people all across the country.

To aid the recovery of the MSME sector, FM Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman launched the initiative MSME Prerna.

This initiative empowers entrepreneurs through skill development and capacity building workshops.

‘MSME Prerna’, an online business mentoring programme, seeks to empower entrepreneurs through skill development and capacity building workshops in the respective local language of the different states across India. The initiative is a partnership between the Indian Bank and Poornatha & Co, a firm that designs entrepreneurial development programmes in vernacular languages. With most outreach programmes, webinars, or interactions with MSMEs the main challenge lies in the fact that a lot of MSMEs depended on agents to approach for a loan. Language and financial jargon became the main hurdle along with the plethora of technicalities. Many units are unable to expand from micro or small businesses due to these reasons. ‘MSME Prerna’, provides an explanation in the simplest form possible, without using jargons and in the local dialect, which makes it easier to understand and makes the banks more approachable. Spread over 12 sessions, this initiative aims to enable entrepreneurs to attain proficiency in finance and managerial skills and also understand the dynamics of credit rating and risk management. The sessions on managerial and financial skills are to be handled by Poornatha & Co. while the banking related topics will be handled by the faculty from the Indian Bank. Once this programme is completed, all participants shall be given certificates issued jointly by Indian Bank, Poornatha & Co and MADE (Michigan Academy for Developing Entrepreneurs), US. One can be hopeful that this unique initiative shall further encourage others to adopt similar measures to support the sector.
MSMEs form the backbone of the Indian economy, contributing 30% to the nation’s GDP and 28% to the overall employment, supporting the livelihoods of over 100 million people. During the COVID-19 pandemic it is one of the worst hit sectors. The need to prioritise its survival and revival cannot, hence, be emphasised enough. A vital key in India’s economic revival  is the resilience of the MSME sector and its ability to bounce back within the country and even internationally. This would require every concerted effort of the government and businesses to be able to revive from the crisis and in this process ensure the recovery of MSMEs.